I’ll admit it: removing Scoot Skins is my least favorite part of using these awesome glue-on boots.
I had a blast riding a 50-mile endurance ride this weekend on Peaches with her glued-on Skins. I typically will glue on Skins the day before leaving for a ride and then remove them a day or two after returning. They could stay on much longer, but I truly believe that my horses should be barefoot as much as possible.
The good news is that if you apply the glue as indicated in my previous article (https://scootboots.com/blogs/blog/ready-set-glue-by-jo-harder), they’ll stay on for your endurance ride and more. However, this means that you have a well-adhered boot glued onto your horses’ hooves that needs to be removed. In my case, today’s the day that Peaches will go back to barefoot, and I’ll walk you through how I removed the Skins.
First, you’ll need a few tools, and I recommend looking at the Tekton brand items. Using a flathead screwdriver may cause you to make dents in the hoof, rather than just separating the glue. Please leave the flathead screwdriver in the tool bin as it’s just not worth creating indentations in the hoof.
My set of tools, as well as the successfully removed Skins (no cleanup)
I strongly recommend getting an upholstery tack removal tool, which will cost only a few dollars. There are various sizes available, and I recommend the 4” size. An upholstery tack tool not only has a bent end that gives you leverage and won’t grind into the hoof, but the prongs will make it easier for you as well.
I also like to use a small utility pry bar because it enables me to wedge into the space between the boot and the hoof and pry it apart. In addition, you should have a rubber mallet.
Assemble your tools and then put some lovely hay in front of your horse to keep him/her busy. Especially for the first time you remove glue-ons, you don’t want your horse getting fidgety.
Starting at the back of the hoof and parallel to the ground, insert the upholstery removal tool and pry apart the boot. You’ll find that the back of the hoof is probably already somewhat loose (which is why there’s no need to put glue in the back ½” of the Skins anyway). You can use the rubber mallet to give it a few taps.
Starting at the back of the hoof, insert the upholstery removal tool and loosen up the Skin as much as possible
Once you start making some headway, work the upholstery tool from the top and move it forward to the front of the hoof. Make use of the holes on the sides of the Skins to wedge in the upholstery tool and pry it apart. Once you’ve got the top ½” unglued, you may wish to continue with the upholstery tool or insert the utility pry bar. I like to use the utility pry bar at this point so as not to injure the coronary band.
Using the utility pry bar
Do all of this prying and light tapping gently. When you think you’ve pried it apart sufficiently, lift up the hoof and try pulling off the boot. You may have to do a little more prying and try again before it will come off.
When you first remove the Skins, the hoof may appear rough, and you may have some bits of glue here and there. That’s normal. You can rasp off the glue or just leave it to wear off.
The first time you remove a pair of Skins, it may take you an hour, but each time you do it, you’ll shave off a few minutes. After you get the boots off, take a good look at where the glue stuck well, and where it didn’t so that you can improve your glue job the next time. Also, take note if any glue went under the sole because this can cause discomfort for the horse.
The hoof after removing the Skins (I didn’t clean up the hoof at all)
Jo Harder is an endurance rider in the Ocala, Florida, area and trims her own Off-the-Track Thoroughbreds. She focuses on completing endurance rides with a happy, healthy horse and having fun!